Brexit as a Navel Exercise

With the outcome of the UK voter shouties

Of one’s senses one now tends to have some doubties –

Belly-buttons seen on beaches

Always seem to have the features

That the innies far outnumber all the outies!

200px-Ombelico navel_3_by_wanabee1996-d67rvfg

© June 2016 Colonialist (WordPress)
Posted in Current Affairs, Humour, Language, Really Awful Rhyme, Wordplay | Tagged , , , | 15 Comments

Really Awful Pa’s Sport

Today we had another wait
Although less of a queue
But finally this was the date
We got the photos through.

I’d also had an SMS
To say passport was there;
Did I collect it? Answer: YES!
But wait did make me swear.

The new passport looks pristine next to the old, well-worn ID.  Just as well the latter is being replaced with a card!

The new passport looks pristine next to the old, well-worn ID. Just as well the latter is being replaced with a card!

Much Better half and I applied
At same time, as you know;
We had to take it in our stride
That hers was still no go!

So if I push off overseas,
From that, one has to find
The passport office now decrees
I should leave her behind!

The other occupation of today was to continue the placing of my jigsaw of slasto slate slabs, and sealing the new entrance-side deck with roof tiles so that I can build in  covers matching the wood underneath in due course.


© June 2016 Colonialist (WordPress)
Posted in Africa, Personal Journal, Really Awful Rhyme, verse | Tagged , , | 12 Comments

A Really Awful State of (Home) Affairs

Late afternoon - nearly at the door.

Late afternoon – nearly at the door (far left).

On Friday went to Home Affairs
Our passports to renew,
Though crack of dawn, each bench (no chairs)
Was filled with part of queue.

We stood or sat on concrete there
Till op’ning, while we cursed;
Then, later, came one to declare
The elderly go first.

So wife and I then moved inside,
Directed to a seat
From which IDs were from us pried:
Then came new seat repeat.

Another seat for photo take
Much time along the way,
And then a further move to make
In yet more seats to stay

From thence to counter where at last
The fingerprints and all
Were sorted out (although not fast);
And we could leave the hall.

Of course we couldn’t really go;
The kids and daughter, still,
Were stuck in hardly-moving flow,
With smell to make one ill!

A view from the clubhouse of what was Isipingo Golf Course, now Amanzimttoti Country Club.

A view from the clubhouse of what was Isipingo Golf Course, now Amanzimttoti Country Club.

So we took turns to hold the fort;
First at golf-club nearby
We and granddaughters breakfast sought –
And peacock had a try!

The sea is visible in the background.

The sea is visible in the background of our breakfast guest.

The girls were able to stroke this beauty.

The girls were able to stroke this beauty – he was unperturbed.

Then back to vigil we returned;
The queue’d not moved at all;
Now for a break our daughter yearned,
So took kids to a mall.

From then we spent the afternoon
In slowly thinning throng
Near four, we thought It might be soon
Their turn would come along.

And sure enough – oh joy and bliss! –
They were let in the door;
Now nothing much could go amiss?
But shock there was in store.

Just as their turn for photos came:
‘The camera, she broke!
Come back next week: you give your name.’
No, this was not a joke.

On Tuesday, daughter checked at one,
And everything was fine;
Got kids from school, and changing done,
To get them there in time.

We met their mother and then raced
To Home Affairs for three,
But then, oh water shock we faced!
‘No water; home all be.’

So we will have to try once more,
And this time hope and pray
That camera works, as before,
And water’s there to stay.

© June 2016 Colonialist (WordPress)
Posted in Africa, Grandchildren, Really Awful Rhyme, Rhyme | Tagged , , , , , | 20 Comments

Curve-sieve Righting …

I have a considerable interest in curves, and as promised here is Take Two of the Curve Photo Challenge.

I am not, alas, skilled in plotting probability curves relating to atomic matter based on a hideously complex equation.  Also, the curves in my cursive writing are an irregular scrawl.  I can, however, navigate curves with reasonable proficiency when driving, and I have a deep appreciation of seductive ones!

There is another set of curves which fascinate and frustrate me, though,  and those relate to gardening and landscape design. As a garden judge, I have developed a sensitivity to the way beds are set out, and find this is one area where even the most dedicated gardeners tend to go wrong – or the garden labour muck things up.  A flower bed at the side of a lawn, for example. If one goes for the ‘easy’ option of a rectangle, the straight lines have an absolute compulsion to start wiggling.  Anyway, those only work in very formal gardens, and generally one finds flowing curves are better.

These curves work pretty well.

These curves work pretty well.

This is where problems can start.  Many gardeners will go for incredibly ‘fussy’ little semicircles, which only work in a tiny bed.  Larger beds call for gentle, sweeping curves, which lead the eye along the length of them to – hopefully – some focal point.  The trouble is that by accident or design the flow of these is usually interrupted by a kink or defect.  This spoils the whole effect.

Here, the one apparent 'kink' tends to detract.

Here, the one apparent ‘kink’ tends to distract and detract. and because there are border guards to prevent migration the fault has to be in the design or planting.  Would that curve be perfect if no tall plants were at the edge to interrupt the view?  It seems that even without them the curve is too sharp, and beyond is a bit of aimlessness which might have been improved with better-defined gentle curves.

Of course, the safe way of ensuring that curves remain unblemished is, after getting the shape perfect, to line them with pavers or stakes. The purist, though, will shy away from adding such artificiality to the planting, and it must be admitted that gardens where the plants in a well-shaped bed meet the lawn along perfectly defined curves without ‘edging’ are stunning.

In this bed, border guards keep migration under control.

In this bed, the lawn is kept disciplined – probably with nail-scissors!.

A final hazard – particularly in a sloped garden – what seems a perfectly-defined curve from one angle can easily appear to have a fault from another.  It is usually possible to find a compromise that will work from any aspect, but this can take months of frustration to achieve.

A tip for initial shaping – lay out a de-kinked garden hose along the proposed edge, study the result from all angles, adjust as many times as are necessary, and forbid it to move a millimetre until digging has been done using it as a template.

© June 2012 Colonialist (WordPress)
Posted in Africa, Challenge, Gardens, Photography, Weekly Photo Challenge | Tagged , , , , , | 16 Comments

Really Awful Spray of Lettuce

Tugboats - Let Us Spray.

To Point Yacht Club for Fathers’ Day

And saw some tugboats there at play;

For Sunday, I’d say that’s their way

Of indicating, ‘Let us spray!’


And, turning this all topsy-turvy,

Those sprays are really very Curve -y! …

Though photo challenge now observe -y,

Another curve-ball, yet, I’ll serve -y!


(but not tonight, Josephine)

© June 2016 Colonialist (WordPress)
Posted in Africa, Beach, Boating, Ocean, Personal Journal, Photography, Really Awful Rhyme, Weekly Photo Challenge | Tagged , , , | 11 Comments

By Gum, Stuck for a Solution to a Hairy Problem …

I was still tidying the courtyard, and laying some slasto in positions where it will be later persuaded to remain, when an emergency presented itself.  The grandgirls had both managed to get chewing gum in their hair.  R (8) promptly had hers dealt with by an irate scissor-wielding mother.  I didn’t want to see the same done for J (5) as, to my mind, she has already had too many haircuts.  So I forbade scissors anywhere near her while speculating wildly as to what would melt chewing gum.

‘Ah,’ said young R brightly.  ‘Let me google it.’  In no time at all she had swiped her mother’s phone (without permission) and reappeared waving it and announcing triumphantly, ‘Look, you use creamy peanut butter or olive oil.’

I am simply amazed at how quickly she got into Google and inserted the right key words for the desired response.  (Mind you, come to think of it, I was actually flying an aircraft at her age …)

Anyway, I subjected the stuck hair to oil, and was then able to comb the gum out.  Pity R didn’t get the solution in time to save some of her own hair from being sacrificed.

I still haven’t arrived at an explanation as to how both got the stuff in their hair.  Actually, I don’t think I want to go there.


Here is the courtyard in the condition in which it was when our guests arrived for the evening braai (barbecue).  I wish I had taken a picture of the wall-to wall rubble in evidence there earlier this week.

© June 2016 Colonialist (WordPress)
Posted in Africa, Gardens, Grandchildren, Personal Journal | Tagged , , , | 11 Comments

Reflection, a Proper Charlie, Sea(son) Change, and Parakits Squawk

june reflection_zpsajqmja5v

On reflection, I spent much of the afternoon in fitting two large wall mirrors in the lounge of the main house.  Pictures reflecting that reflection will await a daylight when we are actually home.  I also cleared a courtyard of loads of stone, sand and wood strewn there with gay abandon by the various builders who have tramped their messy way through there over the past several months.

Tomorrow we will be zooting off down the South Coast in the hopes of finding a passport office where one doesn’t age considerably while waiting to be interviewed.  Yes, our passports have given last gasps.


Another bit of reflection came from digging this certificate out of one of the boxes we risk our lives daily to open and explore – yes, there be dragons!  Anyway, this particular placing, which I achieved at the riding school gymkhana where I was learning to ride at the same time as our daughters, was a big deal because it was achieved on Charlie.  I became famed for having motivated him round the cross-country course and over all the jumps in a time good enough to be placed.  You see, it was universally accepted that Charlie had only two speeds:  dead slow and stop.


Today we were not tempted to venture into the waves.  This is what they looked like, a gale has been blowing all day, and it is chilly.  Instead, we breakfasted at a surfing haven.


The mini parakits are thriving, and getting less mini (and more active) by the day.  Here is a rare pause in their activities where they are having a little sister time.

© June 2016 Colonialist (WordPress)
Posted in Africa, Beach, Cats, Colonialist, Horses, Personal Journal, Photography | Tagged , , , | 15 Comments